The following is a preview with betting tips for the Grand Final of the 2017/18 A-League season, which sees the fairy-tale Newcastle Jets host the fighting and fighting Melbourne Victory.
Saturday, May 5
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
7:50 PM AEST, McDonald Jones Stadium
Their Past Battles: McDonald Jones Stadium recently has not been a happy hunting ground for Melbourne as they have lost their past two matches there. The most recent being a 2-0 loss and the other a 4-1 defeat where only a solitary Barbarouses strike saw them get their names on the score-sheet. However Barbarouses along with Besart Berisha got one a piece this campaign as they beat Newcastle in Melbourne that day 2-1. Jason Hoffman was the only goal-scorer for the Jets in that match. While going back in history a bit, who could forget Melbourne’s huge and commanding 5-0 victory in 2013, March the 3rd. Overall the Victory have won 4 of their past 7 against Newcastle with a draw in there and two Jets wins.
What’s Happened On The Field Recently: Newcastle continued their absolute fairy-tale of a season by qualifying for the Grand Final via their 2-1 win over City. A game that is now viral all-round the world due to Riley McGree’s special goal. While Terry Antonis turned from villain to hero in the Victory’s thrilling 3-2 win over Sydney in ET.
Riley McGree, take a bow!!! On the fly against Melbourne he scored a stunning scorpion kick that is now gaining world-wide recognition as that goal started their fightback after being down 1-0. Jason Hoffman then redeemed himself with a 75th minute winner after having spurned several scoring opportunities throughout the game before that. Newcastle won what in some parts was a bit of a scrappy affair with only three shots on target the entire game as well as only having had 44% of the ball. While their passing accuracy was a low 64% and they gave away 19 fouls. But their heart and determination kept them in the game and they rightfully were victorious. While the opposition despite having 56% possession, the Jets kept them to only four shots in an impressive aspect from their performance.
While the other Melbourne were down 1-0 inside 25 minutes after a Stefan Nigro OG. However Barbarouses quickly got one back only seven minutes later to make the scores even again. Then quickly after the 2nd half started, Socceroo James Troisi gave the away side a shock 2-1 lead and that held until the final play of the 2nd half. With everyone scrambling inside Melbourne’s box, Terry Antonis in a desperate attempt to clear the ball put it into the back of his own net. The wild celebrations however by the home fans and their side would prove to mean nothing however as Antonis redeemed himself as the former FC and WSW man sent his side into the GF with a 117th minute winner in what sealed the ultimate turn-around for him and his side. The Victory got the W with only 39% of the ball and seven less taken shots than their opponents. This really was a Big Blue for the ages!!!
What Should Occur: It’s been 10 years since Newcastle’s last Championship and only Championship (2008). That was when the defeated the Central Coast Mariners 1-0. Since then they’ve had some really bad seasons and struggled mightily of the pitch as well (cough, cough Nathan Tinkler). But now thanks to their new ownership group, Lawrie McKinna, Ernie Merrick and co, Newcastle are now one game away from adding to that sole Championship. All season long they’ve had to deal with injuries, suspensions and interruptions. They’ve persisted through it all. While on the field they have been victorious in 5 of their past 8 games (and it would’ve been more if it wasn’t for a mini-slump in form). Combined with this a should be sell-out crowd will also play a large factor in Newcastle’s game. 95% of the crowd if not more will be barracking for their mighty Jets to come through. This all points towards a 2nd Newcastle Championship and you can expect just that. The players will get the job done.
Best Bet of the Round
Choose both teams to find the back of the net at $1.61 (Bet365)